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Candidate Instructions


Commencement is a special time to celebrate your academic achievements. There is no rehearsal, so please review the following carefully. The Frequently Asked Questions webpage (coming soon) will also provide additional information.


Commencement will be held in Strahan Arena at the University Events Center on our San Marcos Campus. Directions and parking information can be found at Directions, Parking and Seating.


In order to ensure that commencement is safe and enjoyable for all in attendance, capacity limitations will be in place for Strahan Arena. Eligible* candidates will be able to reserve up to 7 guest tickets.  Candidates do not need a ticket but will need to present an ID at check-in. A TXST Student ID, Driver License, or other government issued ID is acceptable.

*Only candidates that selected "yes" to attending on their Graduation Application will be able to reserve guest tickets. These candidates will receive an email with instructions from Texas State Presents on November 12, 2021 with a link on how to reserve up to 7 guest tickets. Eligible candidates should be sure to check their email inbox and also their junk/quarantine box for this email. It is the candidate’s responsibility to secure and distribute their guest ticket(s) prior to the ceremony. Tickets will be strictly enforced. The sale of tickets to other candidates or guests is prohibited.

The deadline to claim these guest tickets will be November 29. On November 30, any unclaimed tickets will be released so that eligible candidates can secure additional tickets beyond their original 7 tickets. The exact number of available extra tickets will not be known until after November 29. Candidates will be notified when extra tickets will be available and instructions will be provided.

All guests age 4 and over must have a ticket to attend the commencement ceremonies.

Commencement Procedures

Processional: Candidates will be seated on the arena floor by level only (doctoral, master's, or bachelors). Candidates will not necessarily be in order by college, alphabet, or honors designation.

Diploma Presentations: After degrees have been conferred, candidates will have their name called as they cross in front of the stage and have their photo taken. Only candidates that are in attendance will have their name called.

Recessional: Following the Alma Mater, candidates will leave the arena floor using the staircase behind them and exit to Sewell Park. Candidates should plan ahead to meet family and friends at a designated area outside of the University Events Center near Sewell Park.

Graduation Application

The graduation application for fall 2021 candidates closed on October 1, 2021.

For more information, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).


To be eligible to participate in your commencement ceremony, the following requirements must be met:

  • Applied for graduation during the official period
  • Cleared all university holds for financial obligations
  • Wear official regalia (black mortarboard cap, black gown, maroon and gold tassel)

Your Name at Commencement

While applying for graduation, you may have noticed that your name needs to be updated in the University database. For example, adding your full middle name instead of just a middle initial.

In order to change your name with the University, you must submit a Personal Information Update Request with The Office of the University Registrar.

This name change will affect your diploma, the commencement program, your name Reader Card, and all other university documents.

Checking in at Commencement

candidate checking in

You should plan on arriving at least one hour prior to the start of your ceremony.

Upon arriving at your gym, you will check in with staff from your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or staff from the Graduate College (Graduate students). Here you will receive your reader card, receive any honors cords, and proceed to the arena floor to be seated. Please keep your reader card in hand at all times prior to and during the ceremony.

If you have questions about how your name will be pronounced during diploma presentations, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).

In order to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all in attendance, please review the list of prohibited and allowable items.

Candidates are asked to limit personal items. There are no secure places to store personal items before or during the ceremony. Small personal items such as phones and wallets must be carried in a pocket or a small purse held under the gown. Candidates are not permitted to hand carry items during diploma presentations other than their diploma cover and Reader Card, which they will hand to the Reader before they cross in front of the stage.

If you have any questions about the ceremony, please email Kristin McDaniel, Commencement Coordinator, at

Image Gallery

Reader Cards

When you check in with your college you will be given a reader card with your name and a number representing your place in the candidate processional. Please keep this card in hand at all times prior and during the ceremony. When you approach the stage during diploma presentations, you will hand your card to the Commencement Reader.

If you have questions about how your name will be pronounced during diploma presentations, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).

Academic Regalia

All undergraduate candidates must wear the official regalia (black cap and gown, maroon and gold tassel). The regalia must be reserved through an online ordering system and subsequently be purchased at The Bobcat Store. It is recommended that you purchase your cap and gown early to avoid any unnecessary delay or inconveniences on your graduation day. The online regalia ordering system will close on November 7, 2021.

Wearing cords and stoles and cap decorating is permitted as long as it is appropriate and relates to academic celebration. Gowns may not be altered in any way including, but not limited to, patches, embroidery, paint, flowers, beads, or the addition of fabrics or other materials. Candidates with altered gowns will be asked to change gowns.

NOTE: Undergraduate students should wear their tassel on the right side of their cap until degrees are conferred and then the tassel may be moved to the left side of the cap to signify degree confirmation.

Graduate Master’s and Specialist candidates must purchase their official regalia (cap, hood, Master’s gown, and tassel) from The Bobcat Store prior to the ceremony. The Bobcat Store staff will be available in-store to assist you.

Graduate Doctoral candidates must rent their official regalia (tam, Doctoral robe, and tassel) from The Bobcat Store. Bobcat Store staff will be available in-store to assist you. For information on Texas State gown and hood colors, please visit The Graduate College website.

For information regarding honor cords and stoles, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Undergraduate Students Graduating with Texas State Honors

Students earning a GPA of 3.40-3.59 will graduate cum laude; 3.6-3.79 will graduate magna cum laude; 3.8-4.0 will graduate summa cum laude.

Effective fall 2021, to be eligible for graduation with academic honors, a student seeking a baccalaureate degree must have completed at least 48 semester credit hours at Texas State preceding graduation. Calculation of the GPA to determine academic honors status is based on all Texas State work applied to the first baccalaureate degree, including work completed in the final semester.

Hours earned through Texas State correspondence courses and extension courses count toward GPA and academic hours eligibility. Hours earned through Texas State credit-by-examination, work/life experience and other courses that offer only "CR" (pass/fail) grades also count toward academic honors eligibility, but they do not count toward GPA. All coursework to count toward academic honors eligibility must be evaluated and graded by Texas State faculty. 

Transfer students who have earned at least 48 semester hours at Texas State are eligible to graduate with academic honors if their Texas State GPA meets the above criteria. Students earning second baccalaureate degrees are eligible for graduation with academic honors if they complete 48 or more semester credit hours at Texas State, meeting the GPA criteria, in pursuit of a second degree. Transfer courses and military credit do not count towards academic honors. All coursework to count towards academic honors eligibility must be evaluated and graded by Texas State faculty.

Undergraduate students earning a Texas State GPA of:
3.40-3.59 will graduate Cum Laude
3.60-3.79 will graduate Magna Cum Laude
3.80-4.00 will graduate Summa Cum Laude

Recommended Attire

This is an important day in your academic career. Keep in mind there will be a professional photographer at the commencement ceremony and you may also be taking photographs with family and friends. There is no dress code; however we suggest that you dress appropriately for this special occasion. Please visit the Merchandise webpage for information on ordering academic regalia.

Comfortable shoes are recommended for guests and candidates. Though accessible seating is available, guest and candidate seating often requires the use of multiple stairs. An elevator is available for guests and candidates as needed.

Accommodations for Candidates and Guests with Disabilities

Special services are available to accommodate the needs of guests and candidates with disabilities at all Texas State Commencement ceremonies.  Accommodations include accessible parking, shuttle services, accessible seating, and sign language interpreting services.

If you have a guest that requires accommodations due to a disability, please visit the Office of Disability Services (ODS) website or call the ODS at 512-245-3451.

Candidates with disabilities are asked to contact their Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students) at least two weeks prior to commencement.

The Difference Between Participating in Commencement and Graduating

“Graduating [receiving a diploma]” and “participating [walking across the stage]” in the commencement ceremony are two distinctly different things. Candidates will be considered “graduated” when they have officially met all of the following:
  1. have applied for graduation online by the posted semester deadline
  2. have had their application approved by their respective Advising Center or The Graduate College
  3. have completed all degree requirements
  4. have had final semester grades posted to their Texas State transcript
  5. have paid any outstanding fees owed to the University
  6. the Dean of the respective College, or Graduate College Dean, has certified candidates as graduates
Participating in the ceremony does not mean that a candidate has completed the requirements for graduation. “Walking/participating” at a commencement ceremony is not synonymous with “graduation;” yet the act of obtaining public recognition may provide a false impression that a candidate has met all requirements and has therefore “graduated” with a diploma in hand.
Ultimately, the final awarding of degrees, honors, and mailing of the diplomas is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate requirements by each candidate and the Dean’s final certification.
Please see the Participant Policy for more information.


Degrees will be awarded and posted to transcripts on Thursday, January 6, 2021, for all eligible candidates. Diplomas are scheduled to be mailed the first week of February 2022. For questions about diplomas, please email For key dates on availability of transcripts and diplomas, please review the Academic Calendar

Diplomas are 11"H and 14"W.

Still have questions?

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (coming soon) page for more information.